Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! I'm back from my dual skiing/New Orleans vacation and while I had an absolute blast, I have to say that I am ready for Lent! I typically don't give up anything for Lent, but I find that around this time of year I always feel ready to take a step back and live more calmly and healthily for a while. When I lived in New Orleans, a big part of this was due to my wanting to recover from the madness that is the Mardi Gras season, but in general, I find that I tend to live and eat a little decadently in the fall and winter (hello, holidays!), and by late winter/early spring, I'm ready to clean things up a bit. In the past I was at least running a good bit, but since I hurt my knee in October and have mostly traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat, I haven't been burning as many calories as I normally do.
So let's just say that after several food and fun filled months, it's time clean up my eats, hit the gym a little harder, and recommit to my healthy lifestyle. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be having fun as well! I love a chance to try new workouts and new healthy recipes. I also find that my cravings tend to even themselves out. Right now, I'm absolutely craving fresh fruits and veggies. Conversely, if I don't allow myself treats along the way, decadent food is all I can think about. It's all about balance!
I thought I'd share my plan in case anyone is interested. I like to take things a week at a time in terms of meal and exercise planning (and this is a short week since I just got back into town), but in general I'm going to be focusing on eating way more veggies, as little processed carbs and sugar as possible, lean proteins and healthy fats. I'm also going to try to work out five times each week. I'm also not going to be drinking wine on weekdays. (I think that wine in moderation is a healthy thing to enjoy, but it's also a source of calories that don't make me feel full, so it's just water, coffee, and tea for me for a little while.)
For the rest of the week, I'm planning to eat Green Monsters for breakfast. I know a spinach and banana smoothie sounds bizarre, but it tastes really good. Even more importantly, it makes me feel wonderful!
Lunch this week will either be leftovers from dinner, or a variation on this santiago salsa. Basically I'm going to make a big batch of this using more veggies (I love to add green onion and red bell pepper to this), brown rice, and little to no cheese. I'm thinking about trying it with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top, and if I don't like that, I'll melt a little cheese on top when I heat it up instead of baking cheese into it initially.
Dinners for the next few days will be Lentil Bowls, poached salmon with broccoli, Cod cooked in coconut oil with coconut chili sauce (based very loosely on this idea, but with a drizzle of sauce and some chopped cilantro on top) and Brussels sprouts, and baked chicken with kale and barley (all piled up in a bowl and topped with lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan). I'm excited to be cooking fish this week b/c I really don't take advantage of the wonderful seafood in Maine as often as I should, especially since fish is such a healthy source of protein.
Potential snacks/treats for the week are overnight oats, protein balls, eggs with salsa, popcorn, chia pudding, and meringues (since I have a freezer full and I've calculated that each of my meringues contains at most 30 calories).
I think I'm going to make the lentil bowls tonight b/c I've been wanting to try that recipe for quite some time. I'm going to have to put the dressing on the side though b/c while I LOVE lemon, the hubby is generally not a fan. I might make some humbeque (hummus + bbq sauce) for him to add to his bowl.
What are your favorite healthy recipes and workouts?